O'Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is comprised of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest six other grapes – Merlot, Malbec, St. Macaire (how often do you see that!), Petit Verdot, Carmenere, and Cabernet Franc – and is aged 20 months in three-fourths French oak. It has a dense purple color, a wonderful, crystalline nose of crushed rock, camphor, creme de cassis and spring flowers, and a full-bodied mouthfeel. The tannins are moderately high, but they are soft and well-integrated. This is a wine of tremendous intensity and plenty of up-side. Give this wine 2-3 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 20-25 years. Rating: 94+
Bright ruby-red. Perfumed nose offers plum, black cherry, graphite, mocha, cedar, chocolate mint and sexy toasty oak (75% new). Compellingly sweet and pliant, with a velvety texture given shape by harmonious acidity. Still a bit ungiving on the firmly tannic finish, which hints at menthol. This very rich, pure wine needs time in bottle to develop more complexity and should be long-lived.